Gift bucket

I recently attended a friend’s baby shower (first one I’ve been to if memory serves). Among the gift suggestions that came with the invitation are practical baby items so hubby and I shopped for some items that we know would be useful. We got some nappies, baby wipes, baby bottles, milk container, rattle, baby oil and a nappy bucket to put it all in.

Since the bucket is a bit odd-shaped and big, I initially thought of not bothering with the wrapping and just sticking a card to it and perhaps a pre-tied ribbon bought from a shop. However as the days passed and I got tired of seeing the bucket without any wrapping, I thought about how good of a challenge it would be to be able to wrap it nicely. On the other hand though, I have a love-hate relationship with gift wrapping. I love a nicely presented, creatively wrapped gift that not only keeps you guessing its contents but could also an art in itself. What I hate though, is the cost associated with the wrapping and trimmings that are meant to be ripped and thrown away afterwards. Why can’t we just invent some cost-effective way to have beautifully wrapped presents without the guilt?

Which is why I love the idea behind Wrap Art with its tag line “How to wrap presents creatively, using fragments of paper and miscellaneous items from around your house”. The site showcases several examples of beautifully wrapped presents which used recycled materials, some traditional trimmings and a lot of creativity.

So taking inspiration from the site, I decided to wrap my gift bucket with some things that I do have lying around the house. I used some drawing paper from Ikea, tape, glue, paper punch, old colourful catalogues, recycled gift wrapping paper and the only thing I bought specifically for wrapping the gift, a roll of white and gold ribbon. I came up with the idea of wrapping the whole thing with drawing paper and then tying it up with the ribbon while hubby had the brilliant idea of using my paper punch to decorate the whole thing with mini-flowers.

I was quite happy with the finished look and didn’t feel as guilty as the paper was ripped away during the party! After all, wrapping paper is meant to be enjoyed then ripped!

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Published in: on January 17, 2008 at 7:53 am  Comments (4)  

Christmas greeting cards

In my earlier post [Vintage Christmas art contest], I mentioned that the artwork I made which depicted a Christmasy living room scene was for two things. One is for the contest, which I already mentioned. The second reason, which was actually the main reason for my drawing the artwork was to use it as covers for our home-made greeting cards.

I didn’t want to mention this in the blog earlier because I wanted there to be time for some of the actual greeting cards we sent out to reach the intended recepients first before they learn about it from my blog. Since some of our friends have confirmed that they have already received our cards, it is probably safe to post about it now.

I haven’t made my own greeting card since I was in elementary school when the teachers forced us to make them for our homeroom classes. Raquel and I figured that making one instead of buying one would make our greeting card more personalised and heart-felt. Since, I can draw a thing or two, I decided to give it a go.

Here is a photo of the cards as taken by Raquel:

Click on photo to zoom

Art and printed text was by me. Raquel did the handwritten greetings, the folding, the home-made envelopes (couldn’t find ones that would fit our cards anywhere) and the cut-out snowflakes you see in the photo.

Published in: on December 19, 2007 at 12:14 am  Comments (2)  

Fold, fold, tuck!

I’ve found a great way to re-use the product catalogues walkers regularly jam into our mailbox and it’s enjoyable too! Check out the photo of my beginner foldings of 2 octagonal boxes, a lazy susan, 2 square boxes, a triangular box, a heart coaster and a swan napkin. Yup, I’ve started doing some origami while watching TV and listening to Gj practice his guitar-playing skills.

Aside from some basic paper foldings I did when I was a wee kid, I haven’t done any paper folding until about a week ago. After realising that creating wooden boxes on my own would require serious skill in doing accurate measurements, cutting and handling possibly dangerous machinery, I picked up a book from the library about making memory boxes for scrapbook enthusiasts. This book features several interesting projects but I thought it might be a good idea to start with something even simpler, something that would get my unartistic hands used to doing something craft-y with a minimal outlay of cash. And what better material than the ubiquitous paper?

Curious if there’s such a thing as an “origami box”, I entered it as a search criteria in Amazon. To my surprise, the search yielded quite a long list with Tomoko Fuse’s Fabulous Origami Boxes topping the list. Borrowing the book from the public library and trying out the first few projects, I found them challenging but enjoyable (even when I had to enlist hubby’s help in figuring out the more advanced folds). By the fifth project, I know I was hooked and I absolutely had to get a copy of this book (not as easy as I originally thought as I had to visit 3 Borders, a Dymocks store in the CBD and two Angus Robertson branches before finally finding it at Borders Highpoint).

I also bought Tomoko Fuse’s Quick & Easy Origami Boxes and Andrew Stoker’s Fantastic Folds. I browsed the online catalogues of the two public libraries I frequent as well and borrowed every book they have in practical origami. So far, I’m only interested in projects that have practical uses like table napkins, chopsticks rests, a multitude of containers, but most specially boxes. Maybe part of the attraction of this kind of paper folding is that I could use the finished projects around the house. In fact, I’ve already used several of my earlier paper boxes as containers for vegetable peelings and food scraps, making clean ups around the kitchen easier.

So if you have an abundance of paper around the house, you might want to try your hand at this hobby. If you’re interested in boxes, Tomoko Fuse is the undisputed expert (as I’ve learned from some origami sites around the web). The other books shown in the photo are also quite good although not all of them focus on origami.

Published in: on March 15, 2006 at 10:50 pm  Comments (2)